Seldom has a free lunch carried so much historical import.
Beginning Sept. 22, Trinity Bellefonte will launch a weekend-long celebration in honor of its 200th anniversary.
Festivities will include a free concert by Debbie Trudeau and Jonathan Dexter, a free community picnic on the church green and a special worship service guest-starring six former pastors.
“People are coming from all over the place, which is cool,” Pastor Chris Passante said.
The church has been celebrating its anniversary in spurts since January and will continue to do so through December, wrapping up 200 years worth of fanfare with a visit from Bishop Jeremiah Park.
People are coming from all over the place which is cool.
Say what you will about American construction, but Passante is quick to point out that what’s endured for two centuries is tradition, not the bricks and mortar.
“It’s the congregation that’s turning 200 this year. That’s the important part,” Passante said.
Either way, festivities will begin at 7 p.m. Sept. 22 with the performance by Trudeau and Dexter in the church sanctuary.
The picnic — kids games included— will be held at noon on Sept. 23 on the church green.
“We’ll have a huge tent the whole size of the yard. It’s enormous,” Passante said.
Those hoping to catch a glimpse of the six former pastors should arrive bright and early for the 9:30 a.m. service on Sept. 24.
The church has always been there for me.
John Wilson is the church’s anniversary committee chairman — that is, when he’s not busy being the church’s staff/parish relations committee chairman.
Wilson and his wife were married at Trinity Bellefonte circa 1974, and he’s been attending church regularly there since the mid-’90s.
It’s worked out well for all involved — Wilson found a second family and the church found someone who doesn’t mind doing light yard work.
“The church has always been there for me,” Wilson said.
He stressed that the concert and picnic are not recruiting drives, just a friendly reminder that like a good neighbor, Trinity Bellefonte is there.
“If they only come and join us for one day, that’s a day well spent,” Wilson said.